Sheepwash is a village on the southern border of the local government district of Torridge, Devon, England. The parish, which lies nine miles from the town of Holsworthy, about eight miles south of Great Torrington and about ten miles north-west of Okehampton, and is surrounded clockwise from the north by the parishes of Buckland Filleigh, Highampton and Black Torrington.
Looking at the village of Sheepwash now, it is hard to imagine that, in the days when agriculture was at its height, there was a large market held in the village square, making it one of the most important villages in North Devon. Increasing mechanisation of farming forced many people to reshape their lives and seek jobs elsewhere. However, farming still has strong influences in the area, with employment also being found in the neighbouring towns, local clay works or in the village itself.
The name Sheepwash is first documented in 1166 (as Schepewast) and means, as it sounds, a place where sheep were washed before shearing
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The presentation slides from the Public Meeting held on the 27th April can be found on the Agenda and Minutes page.
Parish Council Meeting
What is an Article 4 and how does it relate to the Strip
An "article 4" direction is made by the local planning authority. It restricts the scope of permitted development rights in relation to a particular site. Where an article 4 direction is in effect, a planning application may be required for development that would otherwise have been "permitted development". Article 4 directions are used to control works that could threaten the character of an area of acknowledged importance. The Strip Fields are a great example of this.
Many historic buildings, statues and monuments have legal protection from destruction or inappropriate development. They can be "Grade 2 listed" or a monument can be "scheduled". Land on its own, however, isn't included in these protections. Having an Article 4, however, doesn't automatically limit all development. It simply adds an extra planning hoop to jump through. It removes the permitted development rights that other land enjoys. It means that building houses, ripping out hedges and laying large expanses of tarmac, for example, are very unlikely to be given the go-ahead. This protection should now feature on the particulars of the Strip Field currently on the market.
The medieval Strip Fields are an important heritage asset, not only for the village but also nationally and, as such, we are really pleased that, with the help of Torridge District Council, we have been able to help secure their future.